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Traveling with your cat, or even just heading out for a day trip, can quickly go from fun to stressful if you’re not prepared. We’ve been exploring with our kitties for nearly 2 years, and over time have developed a list of items that we always have along when hitting the road, or trail, with our feline friends.
The first step when taking Fish and Chips on an adventure is getting them in their harnesses. We always put these on before leaving the safety of our house (or tent when camping). This is important because they don’t wear collars with our contact information on them, but they do have ID tags on their harnesses, so if they somehow get lost, we’ll have a much better chance of getting them back.
They also have little lights (NiteIze PetLit LED Collar Light) on their harnesses, which really come in handy when we’re camping. As soon as it starts getting dark, we flip their lights on, and it’s much easier to keep track of the little guys and helps us keep them from sneaking out of the car or tent.
Along with the harnesses, we pack their leashes and tie outs if we’re camping or staying in one spot for an extended period of time.
Since many cats are uncomfortable doing their business outdoors in a new environment, it may be necessary to bring a litter box. If you’re going to be traveling with your cat frequently, getting a second litter box is much more convenient than packing your usual one up each time you want to head out. We keep one by the door with an extra scoop so it’s always ready. For your travel box, choose one that is hooded to help minimize the smell and mess.
If your cat is willing to walk on the wild side and relieve himself outdoors, pack plenty of dog waste bags to clean up. These can also be used to clean the litter box – we find the EarthRated lavender-scented poop bags with the easy-tie handles work well.
Of course, Fish and Chips are not going to be happy if they’re hungry or thirsty! We make sure to bring enough water on all our adventures for ourselves and the cats. When packing their food, dry kibble is the easiest option, but if you normally feed raw food there are also dehydrated options that pack easily and don’t take up much room.
We use Kurgo’s Kibble Carrier to keep their food fresh and contained, plus Fish and Chips can’t rip open the bag and make a huge mess.
Collapsible food and water dishes (also from Kurgo) are perfect when it’s time to stop for a drink and bite to eat. They fold flat for easy packing and are super easy to clean.
One thing we have found to be absolutely essential for enjoyable walks and hikes with Fish and Chips is a good backpack. Since the cats are accustomed to riding on top of our packs, we always make sure we have them with us. We stuff them relatively full, using extra jackets and towels to fill the empty space, which makes it easier for the kitties to balance on top. Making sure they have a comfortable ride (roughly level with our shoulders), means they’re not constantly moving and readjusting while we make our way up or down the trail.
If your cat is more comfortable being enclosed, there are also backpack-style pet carriers that may work better for you.
Chips has a tendency to get carsick on rougher roads, and we’ve found that if he’s able to see out the window while laying down it helps keep his tummy calm. Putting some cushions in the back seat gives the cats a comfortable place to cat nap, and paper towels and pet wipes like Tropiclean Hypoallergenic Wipes for Pets are helpful if you do have a carsick kitty.
It’s also important to consider the weather when packing for your cat. If it’s warm out, take extra water, and remember that cats (especially lighter coated felines) can get sun burnt just like a person. So, plan to protect your cat from direct sunlight or purchase a pet sunscreen to keep him safe.
If you’re bringing your cat out in the cold, consider a pet jacket or sweater. Fish and Chips are both shorthair cats, so they get chilly easily. Dog jackets from RC Pet Products keep them warm, and they both actually enjoy wearing them!
One thing people forget when packing for their animals is a first aid kit. Just like us, our furry companions can scratch or cut themselves on something sharp, or pick up a sliver while walking along the trail. There are “pet specific” pre-packaged first aid kits available, but pre-packaged kits for people work well, and you can always customize them with the items you require specifically for your pet. Another route would be to do a quick Google search and make your own!
Last but not least, we never leave home without…lint rollers! They’re invaluable when you need to remove the fur from your sleeping bag, or sweater.
We hope that list gives you some good ideas for your next cat friendly adventure. If there’s anything we forgot to add, please remind us in the comments below!